I guess its more a feeling of if you can't beat them join them that brought me into Photography.
Mel has been so supportive and encouraging of me while I've been learning my way around the camera, although as many people have said before, the answer to your questions are wrapped inside enough information to write a book. In otherwords, choose your questions carefully or you may just be in for a 2 hour lecture on Photography and become lost somewhere, forgetting what the question really was in the first place.
It all started for me whilst walking in a local woodland with Mel taking pictures. Because of his illness I would often carry things for him and on this occasion he was using two cameras, I was holding his S1 pro with a 170mm - 500mm lens on while he did some open exposures with the S3, and I asked if I could take a few pictures of the squirrels playing.
Of course as always He was encouraging but also added don't forget its a big lens and I doubt you'll be able to get much of a steady shot hand held.
On the contrary, the results were outstanding and I suppose being elated they'd come out so well, pleased with my photographs and the encouragement Mel gave I could'nt wait to try some more. The seed was sown.
For my birthday Mel bought me my own Nikon D70s which fits like a glove into my hands. Much easier for me than the pro camera's and I just love it.. I endeavoured to learn and not become one of the Digital generation of AUTO photographers (switching the camera to auto and point and shooting), and never understanding actually what the camera was doing with regard to aperture and shutter speed etc.
I have to say I actually never put the camera in auto now, and its nice to understand the relationship between Iso & aperture settings, and I strongly encourage those who buy camera's with manual capabilities to get to know this relationship and use and enjoy the full capabilities of the camera.
The second great thrill for me came when I put a Nikon 50mm F1.8 lens on and took some close up shots of Damsel flies and their mating rituals..
I'd found what I enjoyed most of all..Nature and wildlife shots, birds and animals I love to do this kind of work and I love the combination of Camera and lens.
Of course by comparison my photography is in its infancy but I just enjoy what I'm doing for now and learn as I go along.
I hope you enjoy too some of the shots I've put together in my galleries for your pleasure.